Heat Take 20th in Row
Miami Heat's LeBron James goes up for a dunk in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia — LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, rallying to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 last night.
Dwyane Wade added 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final 2 minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win.
Only three teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 campaign.
Thaddeus Young had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Sixers.
James and the Heat have started to acknowledge just how special this winning streak is in a season that has them running away with the Eastern Conference.
They opened a five-game road trip as 8½-point favorites over the slumping Sixers, a team they’ve defeated three times during the streak. They beat Atlanta on Tuesday for streak win No. 19, then made the flight to Philadelphia that put them in just before dawn.
“You get sleep when you can and do your job,” center Chris Bosh said before the game.
Maybe fatigue played a bit of a role in Miami’s inability to truly put away the Sixers. Led by Young, the Sixers opened the third quarter on a 16-8 run that helped slice the lead to four. Miami led 71-66 at the end of the quarter.
Wizards 106, Bucks 93
Washington — John Wall had 23 points and 10 assists, and Washington beat Milwaukee.
Wall and Wizards coach Randy Wittman appeared to exchange unpleasant words during a timeout late in the third quarter, but Wall rallied with eight fourth-quarter points to hold off the Bucks’ comeback.
Pacers 107, Timberwolves 91
Indianapolis — Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Indiana to a 107-91 victory over Minnesota.
Paul George had 17 points and George Hill added 16 points with six assists to help the Pacers get their second win in three games.
Ricky Rubio had 21 points and 10 assists and Luke Ridnour scored 17 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost nine of their last 11 games.
Hawks 96, Lakers 92
Atlanta — Devin Harris scored 17 points, Ivan Johnson hit a key basket and shorthanded Atlanta shook off a 20-point third quarter by Kobe Bryant, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Bryant finished with 31 points, but made just 11 of 33 shots. He drove the baseline with a chance to force overtime but watched his jumper slide off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. Making matters worse, he landed on Dahntay Jones’ foot and twisted his left ankle, crumpling to the court in pain.
Bryant hobbled off and Kyle Korver knocked down two free throws to clinch it.